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Ep. 33 The Perfect Weapon

Ep. 33 The Perfect Weapon


What is the perfect weapon? Sword? Nah. Firearm? Pfft. Smart Missile? No. Jeff Speakman and his fearsome Kenpo fists. In this 1991 classic, Jeff plays Jeff, a rough and tumble street tough with a heart of gold. After his master is killed in Koreatown, Jeff must venture into the world of mobsters and crime to avenge his mentor and reclaim the honor of Kenpo School.Join your hosts as they dive in to this martial arts masterpiece and discover why exactly Jeff Speakman IS The Perfect Weapon.
Before we begin, Ernie Reyes Jr - star of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Surf Ninjas, and the director of this movie, is currently undergoing dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant. His family has set up a gofundme to help offset the cost of the procedure. If you can, consider donating money to this icon of the martial arts industry. Reyes Jr, a true icon of martial arts cinema, makes his directorial debut with The Process (aka The Ultimate Fight.) After a Kali master comes to the United States, he finds himself ensnared in a world of prostitution, drug dealing, and Nazis. Is it good? Not really. Is it fun? Hell yes!
Ep 31. American Ninja V

Ep 31. American Ninja V


Prepare yourself for the epic conclusion to the legendary franchise. No, there's no Joe Armstrong. No, there's no Sean Davidson. Instead, David Bradley has been recast as Joe Kastle (confused yet?). Together with his side kick Hiro, Joe travels to Venezuela to save a distressing damsel from a band of evil ninja and a maniacal terrorist. Typical stuff for the American Ninja, but does this provide an appropriate conclusion for the franchise? Listen and find out.
The plot of American Ninja IV is the same as it ever was: evil terrorist organization plans to nuke the United States unless their demands are met. Typical bad guy stuff. BUT! What makes American Ninja IV special is the return of Michael Dudikoff as Joe Armstrong, and David Bradley as Sean Davidson. Two American Ninja for the price of one. Will their team up be enough to save the world? Listen and find out.
An evil organization. Genetically modified ninja army. Curtis Jackson baby-sitting a grumpy white guy. Is this American Ninja 2? NO, but it is American Ninja 3. Introducing David Bradley as Sean Davidson, the NEW American Ninja, this film is arguably the WORST in the entire AN franchise. But, even the worst movie can still be entertaining. Is this film "so bad, it's good?" or "so bad, it's worse?" Join our hosts, and find out!
Fresh off the heels of their first adventure, Army Rangers Joe Armstrong and Curtis Jackson are sent in investigate the disappearance of Marines at the US Embassy. What they discover is an abomination against nature, and an insult to ninja culture - a plot to create genetically modified Ninja, to sell to the highest bidder.Not at all shocked to once again be fighting against ninja, Joe and Curtis suit up and prepare to deliver justice, pain, and ass beatings.
An ancient art. A hidden army. A Michael Dudikoff. These are the elements that make up the first American Ninja. After uncovering a plot to steal army weapons and sell them to the highest bidder, ex-con turned soldier Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) teams up with Curtis Jackson (Steve James) to bring down the operation. As he works to stop the evil Black Star Ninja, Joe discovers that he himself is THE American Ninja.Join us in this first installment of "Ninja November" as we review and discuss every installment in the American Ninja franchise.
Based on a true story, Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya (aka Muay Thai Warrior) is a martial arts spectacle featuring some of the greatest Muay Thai fighters alive.Betrayed and abandoned in Thailand, former samurai Yamada Nagamasa is nursed back to health and befriended by a group of Siamese warriors. While living among them, he is taught the beautifully brutal martial art of Muay Thai. After he uncovers a plot to incite war between Thailand and Japan, Yamada must decide where his loyalties lie - to the people he loves, or to the place he used to call home. What defines you? The blood in your veins, or the dirt you choose to be buried in after you die?
Assassin-for-Hire and Karate Master Terry Tsurugi (played by the legendary Sonny Chiba) may be a cold blooded killer, but he is not heartless. After the heiress to an oil fortune is targeted for murder, Terry agrees to protect her. Earning itself America’s FIRST X-Rating, The Street Fighter is a cult classic that delivers an action packed, gore filled, martial arts masterpiece which rocketed Sonny Chiba to worldwide fame and inspired future directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.dir. Shigehiro Ozawa
Every move he makes, another chance he takes - odds are he won't live to see tomorrow. So says the song, and the plot of 1985's 'Remo Williams'. Following Fred Willard as "Remo," we journey into the world of top secret spy organizations (run by Wilford 'Diabeetus' Brimley), ancient Korean killing arts (taught by a white guy) and corrupt American arms dealers, 'Remo Williams' was set to be America's 007. Does it succeed? No. Is it awesome? Oh yeah.
What is "kung fu?" Is it punches & kicks? Joint locks & throws? Swords and spears? Or is it something more? Is it the pursuit of self mastery for its own sake? That is what Lau Kar-Lung's 1978 "36th Chamber of Shaolin" attempts to answer. After his friends and family are murdered by the Manchu, young San-Te joins the Shaolin temple to learn kung fu and avenge his family. But is revenge the Shaolin way?
At the height of the Cold War, American dominance hinges on establishing a new satellite monitoring base in the remote nation of "Parmistan." To do so, one man must win "The Game" - a yearly competition held by the King of Parmistan, combining elements of acrobatics, mountaineering, fighting, and MURDER. Naturally, there is only one man for the job. Enter Jonathan Cabot, Olympic gymnast and fuzzy sweater enthusiast. Will his skills with the pommel horse be enough to end the cold war? Will his planche push-ups be enough to avenge the death of his father? And will his rings routine save the Princess Rubali?Gymkata dir. Robert Clouse
Nothing in the world can prepare you for MORTAL KOMBATTTTTTT *pause for intense dancing and spinning kicks*In 1992, the world was introduced to a fighting game which would revolutionize the genre and almost single-handedly cause the creation of the ESRB - the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Bringing together martial artists from all over the world (and elsewhere), and combining fast paced action with raw, gruesome, bloody gore, Mortal Kombat is a video game franchise like no other. So it is fitting that in 1995, New Line Cinema and Paul W.S Anderson would deliver a PG-13, bloodless, campy, B-Movie adaptation. Is it good? Is it bad? Choose your destiny...
Part Greek Tragedy, part Kurosawa-inspired Samurai film, part love letter to Jiu-Jitsu, 2008’s “Redbelt” tells the story of Mike Terry, a former Marine and BJJ black belt who struggles to keep his business afloat while also adhering to a rigid code of ethics. Along the way, he deals with a morally bankrupt Tim Allen, the death of his best friend and student, a lying wife, and a betrayal of the very martial art he devoted his life to. David Mamet’s Redbelt asks the question “can a man live honorably in a dishonorable world?”Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebulaRedbelt (2008)Director: David Mamet
Before the Baba Yaga, before the Crane Kick, before the fists of fury, before even Frank Sinatra was doing Judo flips in his films, there was Orochi. Released in 1925, Bunter Futagawa’s “Orochi” is cited as the world’s first martial arts film. Made during a time when cinematography and editing were in their infancy, this movie made the bold decision to film not JUST a sword fight, but a climactic sword fight involving over 20 combatants. If there was ever a pioneer of the genre, this film was it. But is it good? Does this film stand the test of time? This week, hosts @joe_cebula and @rock.n.rowland sit down to discuss this piece of history and determine how effectively it opened up the world of martial arts cinema.Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula Orochi (1925)Director: Buntarô Futagawa
Combining classic kung fu action with the spectacle of a music video, Barry Gordy’s The Last Dragon is a masterpiece of action, comedy, heart, and camp. This week, hosts @joe_cebula and @rock.n.rowland review this 1980s classic (and oh boy….is it from the ‘80s) and ask…WHO IS THE ONE AND ONLY MASTER?! Sho’NuffFollow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula The Last Dragon (1985)Director: Michael Schultz
“Ever since I was a boy, all I knew was how to fight. Fight, fight, fight. And when I got tired, I would fight some more.” So goes the life of former CIA operative and Vietnam vet Black Dynamite. After uncovering a plot to fill the local orphanages full of heroin, Black Dynamite (@officialmichaeljaiwhite) declares war on all drug dealers, an action that takes him all the way from the fiendish Dr. Wu and his kung fu treachery all the way up to President Richard Nixon.Playing expertly on the tropes of the “blaxploitation” genre from the 1970s, ‘Black Dynamite’ is the rare film that is simultaneously a love letter to and a criticism of the genre it parodies. What at first seems like typical b-movie shlock quickly becomes a hilarious mix of avant garde performances, over the top plots, and Michael Jai White’s signature martial arts style at its best.Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula Black Dynamite (2009)Director: Scott Sanders
High flying kicks. Death defying stunts. Relentless, Unyielding Violence...Is NOT what Tampopo is about. This 1985 classic follows Tampopo as she develops from a fledgling, would-be ramen chef to the best in town. Through her sheer passion and desire to create the world’s best ramen, Tampopo finds mentors, partners, and friends who help her develop and perfect her craft. What this film lacks in martial arts ACTION, it makes up for with martial arts SPIRIT. As Tampopo faces adversity, setback, and stumble, she and her crew press forward in the name of culinary perfection. A pursuit done for its own sake, not for the money or the glory, this film perfectly embodies the spirit of martial arts - not to best others, but to be the best version of yourself. And that’s without even talking about the food-obsessed gangsters!Tampopo (1985)Dir. Juzo Itami
The fight. Nothing in cinema is more compelling, more entertaining, or more visceral than human beings locked in battle for domination. It is quite literally in our DNA to love combat. To that end, today hosts @joe_cebula and @rock.n.rowland sit down to discuss their FAVORITE (and the best, because our opinions are law) movie fights of all time. Sit back, subscribe, and enjoy!Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula
"The sword is the soul. Study the soul to know the sword. Evil mind, evil sword." This is the spirit of Kihachi Okomoto's "Sword of Doom." The story of masterless samurai Ryonosuke, we follow him across Japan as he dominates his opponents and kills without remorse. But this is no hero's journey or glorious legend. Ryonuske is a monster who forsakes his humanity in the pursuit of pure killing mastery. This dark, introspective, action packed film forces the viewer to ask "how much can your soul take?"Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula Sword of Doom (1966)Director: Kihachi Okamoto
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